Passing the border Pailin between Cambodia and Thailand
You might think it will be a hussle passing the border from Cambodia to Thailand but it’s not. Well, not for me anyhow. Let me give you a few great advises to make your trip a little bit more enjoyable.
From Battambang and the city center bus station Sorya Transport I took a shared taxi. The cab driver was swinging around the town a couple of times, picking up groceries and people. But don’t worry, soon we left town with the direction to the border between Cambodia to Thailand. The border crossing I choosed was Pailin, next to the city Krong Pailin. It took about 1.5 hours getting there and I paid 6,25 dollars.
The border passing was fast and took me about 20 minutes. On the Cambodian side go to departure. In your passport you have a VISA information on a note that you got upon arrival, fill this one in. By the way, bring a pen. Later give your passport to the controllant. Further on go to the Thailand customs, about 2 minutes walk then look for the counter ”arrival”. Fill in the information on the paper, go to the next counter, get your stams in your passport and your done. This process cost me zero dollars and 1 months VISA in Thailand. They asked me no questions and I am happy to say that I had nothing to worry about.
Now, in Thailand and looking to continue the ride to the final destination for the day, the island Koh Chang. But it’s not over yet. I am a backpacker, so I want it as cheap as possible, this means going with the bus just like the locals are doing. Yes, there is a possibility for you to hire taxi, but then you need to cash up. I think I saw a sign to the city Trat or Chantaburi hiring a taxi or van for around 3000 Baht.
I asked for the bus and needed to go with a motorbike about 4 km to a wooden hut that didn’t look much like a bus stop. But never mind, the trip goes on. Paying the motorbike driver 50 Baht. I asked the bus drivers that were playing pool when the bus is going, they all joined in together in a big laugh. Ok, that’s great. Have patience and relax, everything is going to be fine. As I was thinking that this is going to take a bit of time I popped over to one of the small wooden shacks for some noodle soup. When finished a man comes rushing saying the bus is about to leave. On with my rucksack and of we go to the coastal town Chantaburi. I paid 100 Baht, I could have negotiated that price, but did just want to smothly go forward.
After been bumping on a small seat back of an open bus together with Thai local people I arrived to the bus station of Chantaburi. Found the bus to Trat after waiting for 30 minutes and eating some fast food. The bus ride from Chantaburi to Trat cost me 70 Baht and was in a small but comfy Van with leather seats. It took about 1 hour.
Arriving at the Trat bus station I waited for another 30 minutes to get the bus to the ferry station. I paid 80 Baht for a drive to the ferry station and Koh Chang ferry. It took about 20 minutes. After a short stop and the ferry ticket center we changed bus again and off we went to the ferry. Ferry ticket was 80 Baht.
The ferry is for both cars and people. So if you want to bring you car or scooter, do so for an extra charge. The ride towards the beautiful sun downer and the island Koh Chang took about 40 minutes. I had pleasant ride with a stunning view and a cup of coffee on the hard wooden benches.
Finally arriving to the island Koh Chang. Jumping on one of these buses with many different destinations for each and every traveler. Well, the good thing, there is only one main road on the island. Paid 80 Baht for a 10 km ride and if going longer you pay 100 Baht.
Arriving to Koh Chang and the hostel I thought everything was so far away. The resorts bought most of the beach and there are a few public beaches. Well, I might think you can be on the beach but not just using the facilites on the resorts. The island is stretched out about 25 km on the eastern side along the coast line. I didn’t fancy that so much because you need a taxi or a scooter to move yourself to different beaches and activites.
As a matter a fact, I walked about 4 km from my hostel to the pub White Elephant to look at the premier league with my favorites Manchester United. There was a pub cat there lying on the bar desc for everone’s admiration.
To be honest, I didn’t like the island so much. So I did two days, packed my bag and got out of there. If you stay on the hostel, guest house or resort and enjoy your spot then I think you might be fine. But, the island is not personal like many other islands as Koh Rong in Cambodia or Phu Quoc in Vietnam. Coming from Cambodia then Thailand begins to be more pricy. I am leaving for Koh Samet and hoping that this is a smaller and more personal island for easier contact with other people. But hey, go there, give it a chance, you might like it. Go snorkling, or a boat trip and why not the water fall.
Schedule for my day of travel 2018-02-02 from Battambang to the island Koh Chang
8 o’clock – Taxi Battambang – Pailin Border, 6,25 dollar
11:30 o’clock, Border passing Pailin, about 20 min
12 o’clock, Motorbike – bus station by the border in Thailand- 50 baht
12.30 o’clock, Bus statin border – Chantaburi, 100 baht
14.00 o’clock, bus Chantaburi- Trat, 70 baht
15:00 o’clock, bus Trat to ferry harbour, 80 baht
16:30 o’clock, Ferry ticket center an later bus to ferry
17:00-17:40, ferry from main land to Koh Chang, 80 baht
18:00 o’clock, Harbour Koh Chang, bus 18:00, 80 baht
18:30 o’clock, arrival to Hostel